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de Appel Amsterdam

Footnotes I have never seen

Footnotes I have never seen

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Footnotes I have never seen is an exploration of the landscape of the footnote in the broadest sense of the word. Beginning with a group exhibition curated by Robin Waart at BELETAGE that ran from 15 January to 12 March 2022, the project culminates in a publication of the body text for the footnotes that form the works in the exhibition, annotating, relying and commenting on each other.

Footnotes are references, annotations, detours, a continuation and legitimation, stating sources, expressions of alliance or disapproval. They are kept separately and printed in smaller letter sizes at the bottom of the page or end of an article. Once separated from the body text, they stand by themselves in terms of their aesthetic quality. Image-like. Monumental. What do they refer to then? Can the same notes be applied identically to another narrative?

If you can think of a footnote as the subtitle of a text, if every page of a book is interpreted as a picture and if letters themselves can be something three-dimensional, then there is no longer a direct need to draw such a clear line between words and images. So the question this leads to is also: Can a room be subtitled?

Using a reference system as the starting point for something else, re-introduces the flow of the narrative as something you have never seen before. Every new constellation of artworks that are brought together in an exhibition opens up new ways of thinking. Robin Waart's work begins with the words of others.

With special thanks to Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, greengrassi, London and Theodore, New York.

Supported by Fondation Jan Michalski and Mondriaan Fund.

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